Want to get paid to shop? Want to get extra perks that regular shoppers don't even know exist? Welcome to the world of retailer rewards programs. These membership-based perks programs can rack up some great rewards with each purchase you make. There's something for everyone, from the outdoors enthusiast and the tech-lover to the beauty buyer and the Bloomingdale's brown bag lover.
- REI Co-Op Membership
- ULTA Beauty Ultamate
- Walgreens Balance Rewards
- Bloomingdale's Loyallist Club
- My Best Buy Members Program
- Staples Rewards
- Starbucks Rewards
- Target REDcard Debit Card
- DSW Rewards
- Nordstrom Rewards
REI Co-Op Membership
If you're into the outdoors and love to buy gear and go adventuring, it's time to join the REI Co-Op Membership program. This program has a one-time cost of $20, then you're a member for life. Cash-back comes as a once-a-year membership dividend paid out in March for the previous calendar year. You can spend your cashback in store or, of course, cash it out.
- 10% back on eligible purchases
- Access to REI's semi-annual "garage sales" for slightly damaged merchandise
- Special pricing for classes and rentals
Bonus? Occasional members-only gear, such as the branded HydroFlask currently available
Ideal for: Outdoors buffs, adventure travel junkies, and those with growing families who go through winter/outdoor gear fast.
ULTA Beauty Ultamate Rewards Club
Free loyalty membership for beauty lovers who shop at ULTA stores and online. The best perk of this membership is a free trial-size (larger than a sample) product on your birthday.
- Free trial-size product on your birthday
- Double rewards points in your birthday month
- Frequent emails and catalogs with chances to earn up to 7x points
- Redeem points in-store on products (can only use in certain increments. 100 points = $3 off, 250 points = $8 off, etc.)
- Spend $450 in a calendar year and earn Platinum status which offers 1.25 points per dollar spent and points that never expire
Bonus? Become a Platinum member and your birthday bonuses double. Not only do you get a free trial-size product but you also get $10 to spend in store on any treat you choose
Ideal for: The beauty maven who lavishes herself with the best products for hair, skin, face, and body. Aim for a Platinum membership so your points never expire (and double the birthday gifts!).
Walgreens Balance Rewards Card
Free membership card that allows you special deals and to accumulate points that you can use to purchase products. The good news is you can earn points at the photo centers and pharmacy too.
- Every dollar you spend earns 10 points
- 1000 points = $1 off, 2000 points = $2 off, up to $50 off
- Can also earn points for meeting health goals and getting check-ins
- Look for flyers and in-store signs that offer major bonus point opportunities and member-only sales
Bonus? Once you get past 10,000 points, rewards add up faster. For instance, 10,000 points is still $10 off, but 18,000 points gets your $20 off and 30,000 points gets you $35 off.
Ideal for: Anyone who ever shops at Walgreens. It's worth taking a moment to sign up for one of these cards. You'll be pleasantly surprised when they tell you at the register you have available dollars off to use.
Bloomingdale's Loyallist Club
For those of you with a high-end shopping addiction, Bloomingdale's Loyallist Club is a no-brainer to sign up. Shop more, earn more rewards gift cards to shop more: what's not to love?
- Free shipping online, no minimum purchase
- 1 point for every dollar (double on shoes, cosmetics and fragrances)
- 5000 points = $25 rewards gift card
Bonus? If you have a Bloomingdale's American Express card you can rack up 3x the points when you shop in-store.
Ideal for: The savvy high-end shopper who purchases career-wear and shoes on a regular basis.
My Best Buy Members Program
How can you get the actual best buy at Best Buy? By signing up for their tiered rewards club, of course. They call it "My Best Buy" and there are numerous ways to take advantage of the savings.
- Weekly member exclusive offers
- Everyday member-only deals and discounts
- Special offers tailored to you and your previous purchases
- Earn extra points by reviewing products
- Three tiers, based on how much you spend in a calendar year; each earns points at a different rate (regular membership earns at a rate of .5 points for every dollar spent; Elite status is achieved by spending $1500 and earns at a rate of 1 point per dollar; Elite Plus is achieved by spending $3500 and earns 1.25 points for every dollar spent)
- Every 250 My Best Buy points entitles you to a $5 reward certificate
Bonus? Gamers Club Member Deals for pre-ordering and purchasing select games.
Ideal for: The tech-savvy, gamer-centric, music-buff individual or a family who goes through a lot of electronics.
Staples Rewards is a free membership card that helps you rack up fast when you turn in old ink cartridges to earn rewards you can spend in store. Even if you don't purchase office supplies for your home or business think about back-to-school time and bigger purchases such as computers, cameras and printers.
- Tiered program with three levels based on spending: Basic (up to $499 a year); Plus ($500-999 a year) and Premier ($1000+ a year) $2 cash back on each recycled ink cartridge, even if you didn't purchase it at Staples (10/month limit for Basic members, 20/month for Plus and Premier members)
- Free shipping on orders over $14.99 from Staples.com
- Rewards up to 5% back on every purchase
- Easy to use rewards right at the register
Bonus? Teachers get 10% back in rewards on qualifying teaching and art supplies; Plus and Premier members get free printing services (Plus up to $25; Premier up to $50)
Ideal for: The small business owner, home-printing guru, and anyone who purchases school supplies for themselves or others. While the fine print stipulates you need to have purchased $30 of ink/toner at Staples in the previous 180 days to receive rewards, this program is worth it simply for recycling used ink cartridges, even if you rarely shop at Staples.
Starbucks Rewards is available online or as an app for Android and iPhone, but it's one of the few worth taking up space and data. Not only can you keep track of gift cards and balances, you can earn points for free drinks and food items.
- Free drink on your birthday
- Earn stars/points in store and by purchasing grocery-store bags of coffee
- 2 stars for each dollar spent using a Starbucks gift card or Gold card
- Every 150 stars earns you a free drink or food item
- Reach Gold status and get a Gold card to load and use for payment, plus a free drink or food item every 125 stars
Bonus? Free refills in-store, so load up on caffeine and Wi-Fi at the same time. The app also has double-star days and bonuses you can complete for extra stars.
Ideal for: Anyone who frequents Starbucks. It's easy to reload your balance through your phone at any time, which is the way to go since you only earn points when you pay with the app or a Gold card.
Target REDCard Debit Card
The only debit card on the list, the Target REDCard makes it easy to want to sign up, because they offer an automatic 5% discount on all purchases when you use your card. It works just like a regular debit card and is connected to your checking account to make automatic withdrawals every time you make a purchase.
- Automatic 5% off at the register every time you pay with your Target REDCard debit card
- Free shipping on Target.com purchases paid for with the card
- Extended return policy
- Up to $40 cash back at registers
Bonus? Combine this payment method with Target's Cartwheel app, subscription savings, coupons and clearance savings to make your next Target trip much more financially fit
Ideal for: Anyone who shops at Target regularly.
DSW shoe warehouses are already a go-to for discount shoes for the whole family, and you can get even more savings by signing up for their rewards card. You can earn the rewards certificates relatively fast and $10 can purchase heel cushions to make those fabulous heels more comfortable.
- Earn points for every dollar spent (10 points for regular members; 15 points for Premier members)
- Spend $600 in a calendar year to become a Premier member
- 1500 points = $10 rewards certificate
- Free shipping online (standard for regular members; 2-day for Premier members)
- Birthday offers
Bonus? Look for Double and Triple Points days, where members earn, of course, double or triple points on purchases
Ideal for: The savvy shoe shopper, both in-store and online.
Nordstrom and Nordstrom Rack shoppers love finding great brands at great prices. Nordstrom Rewards can add up fast to even more great deals. The program is simple but worthwhile.
- Collect points at Nordstrom, Nordstrom Rack and HauteLook (1 point for every dollar)
- Every 2000 points earns you a $20 Nordstrom note to spend in store
Bonus? Join the Nordstorm Rewards credit card to earn 2 points for every dollar plus additional bonuses.
Ideal for: The brand-conscious buyer who wants top-quality at lower prices, because all Nordstrom brands hold great sales.
Your favorite rewards program?
Do you have a favorite rewards program not listed here? Be sure to let us know about it so we can update our list!
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